STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Robert D. Taylor
Chairman and CEO
Executive AirShare Corp.
After Robert “Bob” D. Taylor asked the widow of an aviation maintenance company CEO what he could do to help, he found himself running the company until it was sold. And by that time was he hooked on aviation.
It was November 2001, only a short time after 9/11, and Taylor wanted to start his own aviation company despite the industry’s turmoil. Executive AirShare Corp. was created with the idea of running an aviation company the right way.
As chairman and CEO of the only “days-based” fractional aircraft ownership company, Taylor has built a business that excels at meeting the demands of clients with a focus on safety and customer service. It serves a niche market looking for large light jet or smaller aircraft.
With its fractional ownership, the business’s regional approach puts it closer to customers and drives down costs. Compared to the typical hours-based model, the days-based rate model has more customer flexibility and fewer “dead head” trips where pilots are shuttling empty aircraft between locations.
From the beginning, Taylor looked for ways to turn circumstances into a competitive advantage, such as using the increased regulatory scrutiny over commercial aviation to drive business for fractional ownership.
But it hasn’t always been easy. With business booming, EAS moved to buy a newer fleet of better light jets just before the recession hit. The value of certain aircraft dropped approximately 60 percent from 2007, and the company had to sell excess aircraft for a loss.
Taylor and his fellow shareholders had to step up time and time again to invest in and keep the company moving forward. Their belief allowed EAS to avoid downsizing.
Today, the company has grown to be the largest operator of Phenom light aircraft. EAS maintains a fleet of 26 aircraft, while maintaining another 16 for other owners.
In the future, EAS plans to expand itsPhe core region into additional Texas and other markets.
How to reach: Executive AirShare Corp., www.execairshare.com